Crimean Jehovah's Witness sent to Russian prison camp


Credo.Press, 27 May 2020


The Supreme Court of the republic of Crimea (within the jurisdiction of the R.F.) on 26 May left in force the sentence of the court of the first instance with respect to Dzhankoy resident Sergei Filatov. As a correspondent for the Credo.Press portal reports, citing a source among the Jehovah's Witnesses, the convict's guilt consists in his reading an "incorrect" (ruled to be extremist) translation of the Bible along with members of his family and friends. For this, Filatov was sentenced to six years incarceration. The court did not take into consideration either the procedural violations in this trial or the demands of the United Nations Working Group.


Previously the Dzhankoy district court sentenced Sergei Filatov, the father of four children, two of whom are minors, to six years in a penal colony of general regime, having found him guilty of "undermining the foundations of the constitutional structure and security of the state."


According to the testimony of the defense, the investigation illegally altered the evidence in the case and engaged false witnesses and experts who did not provide diplomas confirming their competence. At the same time, the court refused to consider the evidence that Filatov's defense requested be reviewed.


Following the decision of the appellate instance, Filatov's sentence took legal effect. In which colony the believer will serve his term is still unknown. Since 5 March he has been held in SIZO No. 1 for the republic of Crimea and Sevastopol.


"I know for sure that I did not commit any crime either before God or before the state. I am being convicted for the fact that I am a Christian and I consider my faith to be true . . . and I cannot renounce it," Sergei Filatov said in his final statement, addressed to the Dzhankoy district court. "Whatever may be the sentence issued to me in this case, I will, in any case, leave here justified in the eyes of my family and my friends."


In April 2017, the Russian Supreme Court ruled all 396 religious organizations of Jehovah's Witnesses on Russian territory to be extremist and liquidated. (tr. by PDS, posted 27 May 2020)

Background articles:

Fourth Jehovah's Witness since 2017 imprisoned for six years,

Mar. 5, 2020
Jehovah's Witness in occupied Ukrainian territory penalized by Russians,
Feb. 25, 2020

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